Volunteer team working on UEA Broad

A team of undergrad student volunteers will be working on the UEA broad project for the coming weeks. Led by a funded internship through UEA’s springboard programme (http://www.uea.ac.uk/internships) a team of students will be running the project, collating and managing the data, making additional measurements and trying to establish a sustainable model for the project to continue as a student-run volunteer project into the future.

For the past ~2 years regular (weekly) water samples have been taken from the lake by me and a couple of PhD student volunteers and analysed for a wide range of biogeochemical parameters including inorganic and organic nutrients, major ions, pH, conductivity, carbonate chemistry etc by the excellent analytical labs in the School of Environmental Sciences. This dataset is pretty unique in its broad range of chemical parameters measured at such high resolution, but there are some key measurements missing. For instance, we don’t know what species of phytoplankton or zooplankton are dominant in the lake or how they interact. We also don’t know what the chlorophyll concentration is, which would allow us to link chemical measurements to phytoplankton activity, or what the temperature profile of the lake is, which would be useful for understanding the vertical mixing in the lake, which links to vertical fluxes of measured chemical parameters. Also, whilst we have lots of chemical info on the dissolved phase, we can’t close the water column budgets of carbon, nitrogen etc as we don’t know what’s going on in the particulate phase.

For this reason, the volunteers will be making measurements of chlorophyll, particulate nitrogen and carbon and temperature in the lake as well as painstaking microscope work to identify and enumerate phytoplankton and zooplankton communities.  There will also be data compilation and analysis and outreach work as well as better documentation of the project here. Details of methods and the team responsible will be documented here later.

It’s really exciting to have a team of people working on the lake project – hopefully we can do some great science based on the data collected so far and the extra parameters we’ll be measuring over the next couple of months.

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~ by Martin Johnson on April 13, 2013.

One Response to “Volunteer team working on UEA Broad”

  1. Reblogged this on Confessions of a marine chemist.

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